This Musical Life

Make me an instrument of your peace. ~ St. Francis

~ Dedicated To Don

Not even the crepitus in his knees

can stymie his offering: the embouchure

— years of dedicated notes

swirling through the open

window — with which he masters

every woodwind.  Breathtaking

transformed into the sex

of sax as I dance alone,

undone.  Sometimes he sings

in his deep clarinet voice

in the secret language my soul

can translate.  Today

my 99-year-old neighbor

and I regard each other

from the screens that separate

us, unearthed, this heavenly

transport by the flute.

The blessing begins when

he says, “Going down

to practice,” before a fight

and I’m left floating

into the kitchen in my snit,

making my ways to pots

and pans to stir all this

magic into soups and cakes

I’ll bring to her — she smiles

across the way, anticipating

these comforts we’ve created.

We’ll sip tea and savor

the secret ingredient,

what others pay dearly to hear

gifted to us by the very air

until he creaks painfully

up the stairs once more,

baffled to find me humming

— the simmering fight transmuted

into joy washing through

the sink filled with dishes.


Inspired by: Embouchure, Stymie, Crepitus, and Breathtaking.


Troubles, Disperse

Day 2 of the Lyric Challenge!

Here are the guidelines:

1 Thank the person who nominated you.
2 Share one of your favourite song/lyrics one at a time for three days.
3 Nominate three other bloggers each day.

The way I’m doing this is:

  1. Thank you, Kristian, for the chance to be a bit braver in relational space.  If you don’t know his work, please check him out and be prepared to laugh, to be surprised by his twists, and his nonstop, glorious creative output!
  2. Today and tomorrow, I’ll post lyrics to my own songs.  I’m choosing 1973, a fine year for a girl and her guitar. If I can figure out the way to record it, I’ll add in a video of me singing them!
  3. If you feel it, go for it, please!


Troubles Disperse (1973)

A red eye is peeking through a hole in the clouds,

the sun wants up, but the sky won’t allow’t.

A streak of red, of purple and blue

a morning song of glorious hue.

A new day is dawning, troubles disperse.

The good sun is shining down on the earth.

The sea takes my troubles and casts them ashore,

the sun dries them up forever more.

I walk on the beach ‘tween the earth and the sea

and follow my heart wheree’er it leads me.

A new day is dawning, troubles dispersed.

The good sun is shining down on the earth.

Winter’s Song

It’s a cold frosty night

on the snow-covered fields

and the trees stand so stark and bare.

Yet I stand here so gloriously happy and free

on this star-studded, blackly-etched hill.

While you all sit inside in your cozy little cabins,

I am calling through the forest, and singing to the trees.

All around me there is life,

and my heart is filled with a song 

that you could sing along with me.

I hope that I will always feel so free,

I don’t want to grow old and cease to see

all the wonder of the winter,

the shadows on the snow

and my dreams dancing softly on the cold fresh air.

I wish that you would all just look out your windows

and drink in the dark, enchanted scene.

So it’s cold, so are you

if you won’t venture out

of your cramped, little automated shells.

Come on out and dance,

it’s a beautiful night

and I promise that your dreams will come alive.

I hope that I will always feel so free,

I don’t want to grow old and cease to see.

*I wrote this song at age 15.  Still sing it when I play my guitar.

I’ve Got A Song For You

Day 3 of the 3-day Lyrical Challenge!

The rules are simple:
1 Thank the person who nominated you.
2 Share one of your favorite song/lyrics one at a time for three days.
3 Nominate three other bloggers each day.

Thanks again, Raja, for inspiring me with your art and poetry, and for inviting me to share my music!

Today I am nominating Brittany to share some music and take this challenge.  Check out her website!

Another oldie is my choice for today, featuring the voice of the incomparable Gladys Knight soaring in this song of celebration. And I feel the need to perform a public service. I dug out my old sheet music to confirm that the lyrics posted on the internet are just wrong.  Here’s the real deal:

I Feel A Song In My Heart — Lyrics by Mary Sawyer, Music by Tony Camillo
Ooh, I loved you so
But why I loved you, I’ll never know.
You found a reason for leavin’
Soon as I gave my love to you.
And oh, the pain you put me through
You’ve done killed my love for you,
But I found a reason for livin’
And I’m through with cryin’ over you.

And now I feel a song in my heart again.
I knew as soon as I felt ya lookin’ through me.
I feel a song in my heart again.
High on the wings of the things he’s doin’ to me.

Oh, that man is fine.
Ooh, what’s even better, the man is mine.
He makes me feel just like a woman,
Something that you could never do.

And now I feel a song in my heart again.
I found the man who can put it all together.
I feel a song in my heart again.
I’m gonna love him and make him last forever.

(Don’t let this come to an end.)

(I feel a song in my heart again.)

Oh, it feels so good.
You, you, you, you, you never understand.
He makes me feel like I’m somethin’
And I’m gonna keep him if I can.
I know I feel a song in my heart again.
Now I can open my eyes to a new dawn.
I feel a song in my heart again.
The man is all that I need to feel my love.

I feel a song in my heart again.
I feel it takin’ me oh, yeah, and how, yeah
I feel a song in my heart again (feel it)
His kind of lovin’ I can never get enough of

I don’t need your lovin’ ‘cause I got his lovin’
Woo, I feel a song again
Oh Lord, I been born again, ooh
(I feel a song in my heart again)
(Feel it)

I feel a song in my heart again
I’ve got to tell you
He’s twice the man that you were.
I feel a song in my heart again.

If the link doesn’t work, try this:

Just Perfect

Welcome to day 2 of my response to the 3-day lyrical challenge.

Hope you sing along with me!

The rules are simple:
1 Thank the person who nominated you.
2 Share one of your favorite song/lyrics one at a time for three days.
3 Nominate three other bloggers each day.*

Once again, I thank the amazing Raja whose blogging inspires and motivates me daily.  Go check out her art and poetry!

Today I nominate sgeoil who creates beautiful photography and moving poetry.  And I nominate Paula Light since she has such original perspectives that I appreciate! And I nominate AJ because I also wish that his post, An Open Letter About Depression would go viral!

Today let’s sing a love song — which I celebrate more for the blending of cultures, ages, ways to read music, and voices than for the romance.  (Which is sayin’ somethin’, cause in my book, you can’t get more romantic than being serenaded by Andrea Bocelli (excuse me, my age is showing) and Ed Sheeran.

Perfect by Ed Sheeran

I found a love for me
Darling, just dive right in and follow my lead
Well, I found a girl, beautiful and sweet
Oh, I never knew you were the someone waiting for me
‘Cause we were just kids when we fell in love
Not knowing what it was
I will not give you up this time
But darling, just kiss me slow, your heart is all I own
And in your eyes you’re holding mine

Baby, I’m dancing in the dark with you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass, listening to our favorite song
When you said you looked a mess, I whispered underneath my breath
But you heard it, darling, you look perfect tonight

Check out the duet here.



Sacred Ground

A three-day lyrical challenge!

The rules are simple:
1 Thank the person who nominated you.
2 Share one of your favorite song/lyrics one at a time for three days.
3 Nominate three other bloggers each day.*

*For shy people, like me, nominating one person the first day is huge…following simple rules is such a challenge.

Thank you, Raja, for nominating me to participate!  I love your blog — the insightful, heart-felt poems and art — which inspires me daily!

I nominate Kristian, whose wild tales and poems always make me question reality — in a great way!  So I can’t wait to hear the music he writes for inspiration.

Since this fits so nicely with my post today about Gaia, here’s an oldie but goodie (released 1986) from Libana’s album A Circle Is Cast.

The Earth Is Our Mother

The Earth is our mother, we must take care of her (2x)
Chorus: Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan,
Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan.
Her sacred ground we walk upon, with every step we take (2x)
The Earth is our mother, she will take care of us (2x)

That Infinite Yearning

I came here with big plans and super

powers, a heartfelt intention

to set things right,

to move my people to a new

place of redemption.

And if you are reading these lines

I claim you. Surprised

to find there was language

to be learned and a body to master,

I often lost myself in the pure

delight of being, twirling in

bliss while around me

the naming and the labeling began.

This is blue, and these are three,

chopping my integration and inner

knowing into bite-sized assimilations

of cultural knowing.

And so I forgot

my true essence, and my mission

that had seemed so easy.

When you land without a reference

point among those who disbelieve

that time and space are a play

on words, a soul mission is reduced

to a note on a page, definable

and so losing necessary fluidity.

I learned separation and how to lie.

Every now and then I attracted

a narcissist whose intent

felt purely evil, doling out harm.

In my terror, I never saw

the chance to utter truth.

If I could call out this chilling

aspect, I could free the frozen

parts of me, could access

my own deep strength. Now

I remember: at our essence,

we are all here

to help each other grow.

We gather on the world’s

stage like the finest musicians.

Tuning our instruments in seeming bedlam,

the bright and beautiful high

notes anchored by the dark.

But I have to put my poem

aside for a while. Family singers

are gathering in the music hall.

I’m an alto and I provide harmony.

We’ve sung together all

my life, and though the verses

are often jarring, I keep

searching for the healing melody.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: narcissism